Merry Christmas – 2019

Merry Christmas!

Wishing you and yours the happiest Christmas filled with new memories, lots of laughs, and all of the love and magic of every Christmas before this one.  I hope that you stay true to all your favorite traditions while welcoming new traditions, from mom’s homemade Christmas cookies, to watching It’s A Wonderful Life on Christmas Eve, or starting with your stockings first this Christmas morning. Christmas2019-beelifeblog
photo by: @marinaclaireandco

And may you be able to continue to spread Christmas cheer even after the holiday, visit with all of your loved ones and catch up with those who may be miles apart.

So from B, Moz and I — Merry Christmas!

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Latest Obsessions 12.19

Christmas is just 5 short days away! It’s that last minute crunch to get everything perfect and ready for the big day and all the stops along the way. With last minute gifts popping up, a few more gatherings being hosted and attended, the time gets away from us quickly — so my latest obsessions are all about helping navigate threw the last minute pushes, while still enjoying the holidays and keeping yourself a priority.
LatestObsessions12.19(1)-beelifeblogEasy Brunches. We’re hosting a brunch with some friends this weekend, and then also prepping to have some easy food around for our holiday mornings — so I am pulling out the recipe for that super easy french toast casserole that I made for Easter brunch! You prep the dish and refrigerate overnight and all you have to do is stick it in the oven coming the next morning! It’s SO easy and SO yummy.

Last Minute Gifts. From stocking stuffers, to a few trinkets or two, shopping local is how I’m going to wrap up those last minute gifts that always seem to creep in. And if I can’t find just what I’m looking for at the local shops, I will break out the craft supplies and make an ornament – as that has been my go to gift the last few years and it’s so easy to make it personalized and special for whoever you’re giving it too!

Holiday Outfits. Usually I am on top of having a few of these figured out — but not this year! Everything has really creeped up on me. Luckily I have a nice variety of options to pull from and build upon.  My last minute holiday fashion guide has a mix of casual ideas paired with more party inspiration, especially if it’s a bit more dresser for work!
LatestObsessions12.19(2)-beelifeblog  Me Time. With having a bit extra time off around the holidays, I’m going to make sure to take a bit of time for me — and I hope you all try and do the same for you! I’m not going to slack off with my workout routine, in fact, my fitness studio is offering a Christmas Eve class and I am 100% pumped I’ll be able to get in a workout in time for the holidays.  On top of not compromising my workout routine, I’ll be making time to volunteer with a local dog shelter I’ve been volunteering at the last few months — the pups need a good Christmas too!

On top of prepping for brunch, getting all my last minute gifts purchased and made, I still have a lot of Christmas-ing left to do! I will be making a bunch of Christmas cookies this weekend (cut outs, gingerbread and peanut butter blossoms) and getting in a few more of those Christmas classic movies like Elf, Home Alone (for the millionth time) and even It’s A Wonderful Life (on Christmas Eve of course!).

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Bee’s Last Minute Stocking Stuffer Ideas

Stockings have always been one of my favorite part of the holidays and something that I made sure B and I did for each other! We try to put a limit on it, but I know we always probably end up going over our stocking stuffer limit.  I blame my mom for always pulling together incredible stockings, that were sometimes more exciting that opening up the big presents! So if you’re looking for some last minute stocking stuffers, or ready to pick up your stocking game, here are some fun and easy ideas to get ready for Christmas.
StockingStuffers-beelifeblogSmall Incremental Gift Cards. Think like $10 to Subway, Starbucks or Whole Foods – easy day time, lunch items that come up and are nice to have a gift card on hand to cover a meal or couple cups of coffee! These are easy to stack together into a box or place throughout for continued surprises as they’re pulled out!

Something Sweet. You know those candy cane’s filled with mini reese cups or M&Ms? I always have to buy those for the stocking, it was something we always had in our growing up and was a yummy snack.  A box of Altoids, pack of gum or a reese cup tree — these can be a nice little pick me up.

Cotton Love. Think socks, a cozy winter hat, fun t-shirt or some gloves! These are fun fillers than take up a little more space and are also nice to haves that can be festive and useful.  I love throwing a few pairs of fun socks into B’s stocking, and I always love getting a fun throwback tee or Cavaliers winter hat.

Everyday Essentials.  Think the travel aisle in Target! A Tide To-Go pen, hand sanitizer, deodorant or even some body wash or bubble bath is another nice touch that is always useful, especially when you can snag the right scent! B will throw some packs of makeup remover wipes in mine and body wash and I’m always appreciative because I usually run out before I’m stocked up again.  I can also count on my mom for throwing in my favorite mascara!

Booze & Coffee. Mini travel booze bottles, a bottle of beer, or even a mini champagne bottle are the perfect size for any stocking! Have a few more coffee lovers? Throw in a few K-Cups, bag of coffee beans or even the mix quick mix packets are fun and small to help stuff that stocking!

Ornaments. Whether it’s handmade, a Hallmark signature series, or a local find ornaments are unique, personal and smaller presents that can help fill your stocking while being a memorable keepsake to trim the tree with year after year.  I always buy an ornament each year for B, and love tucking it into his stocking for a fun surprise!
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Stockings are always a Christmas tradition that I’ve been fond of growing up.  Pulling out the stockings at my moms when I helped her decorate for Christmas was always one of my favorite parts that I looked forward too! B and I’s first Christmas together was 7-months after we started dating, and I bought us matching stockings for my little studio apartment – sure enough we still use those same stockings to this day and have them hanging by the mantel just above the fireplace!

Our Christmas morning starts with stockings and then we move into the big presents — but we always ease into it, to make the morning and magic savor. What’re your favorite traditions and must have stocking stuffers?

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Local Love: Home for the Holidays Pop-Up Shop

Looking to shop local this holiday season? Look no further — the Home for the Holidays Pop-up Shop is back! Going into it’s fourth year open, it’s found various homes in the neighborhood over the years.  And this pop-up shop supports all things local, by sourcing gems from small business makers in one place!

The best part is you’re not only supporting one local business you’re supporting 40! Home for the Holidays has a variety of gift options for everyone on your list, from baby, to dog mom, to husband or dad, coworkers, and of course your bestie.  Gifts include home goods, local snacks, honey, skincare, christmas themed, barware, and local gear, Home for the Holidays is truly a one stop shop!

With sections throughout the store it’s easy to navigate based on whoever you may be shopping for.  I personally gravitated to the pet section where there was a mix of goodies for your favorite furry friend, like toys and treats and then treats for mom like dog-themed candles and dog mom wine glasses!  And if you’re a human mom, or have a few sweet babes in your life you’ll be trying to decide between some adorable nursery or baby decor from lovefrombrooklyn or handcrafted blankets from Unsalted.
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Moving on to the men in your life. With plenty of amazing hand crafted options like CLE themed beer steins or leather coasters, key chains and valet trays from William & James Leather Co. (William & James also has some pretty amazing earrings available at Home for the Holidays shop, too!) You can also snag a Great Lakes Brewery bottle opener made from actual beer taps.  There are local tees, sweatshirts and winter gear with all his favorite local teams that make for a home run gift.

Speaking of jewelry, beyond unique one of a kind pieces from William & James — there are also copper and ceramic Ohio state necklaces, inspirational bangles and bold earrings that will truly make a statement.  There are also customizable pieces for a more personalized gift and even better stocking stuffer!
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HomeHolidays-beelife(4)To kick off my holiday shopping I stopped in to grab a few items and get inspired for more gifts, the best part is they are continually restocking and adding in new pieces. I grabbed a few handmade ornaments from GGDorothy Art, one of a Cleveland sky line (for us!) and then an Indians ornament for my aunties (shhh! it’s not Christmas yet).  I also grabbed a fun NYE card for a dear friend, a tea towel from Tart Boutique and sweet baby bows from lovefrombrooklyn.  I can’t wait to head back in the coming week to grab a few more goodies and see what new items are in stock at the shop!
HomeHolidays-beelife(1)Home for the Holidays is open Thursday – Sunday until December 23rd, so make sure to plan your trip for any and all of your holiday shopping, last minute gifts and something truly unique for your favorite people.  So if you stop in be sure to say hey to Maureen, the awesome owner behind Home for the Holidays, she is so sweet and hospitable!

Stay up to date with the latest from Home for the Holidays on Instagram and Facebook.

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Happy Thanksgiving – 2019

Happy Thanksgiving to all my amazing bee readers! What’re you thankful for this year?  Every year, I’m always amazed and reminder at how lucky B and I are for our life and all of the amazing people we have surrounding us.

I’m also thankful for winning a fun little portrait mini-session earlier this month (see below) by the talented MML Photography, Michelle Loufman. B and I did a quick little session and the photos just captured so much of our love and personalities while being timeless photos for us to have for years to come.
Em and B Mini Session 2019
Photo by Michelle Loufman at MML Photography

I’ll have to admit that I’ve been a little jaded over this Thanksgiving holiday, especially this year — all the demands of family wanted me to shut it all off and just hide.  But all of my amazing friends listened to my stresses, frustrations and as much as they supported me, they also worked to share a different perspective for me to maybe change my mind… which ultimately ended up happening (yes, I know I’m being cryptic – what else is new?!)

So, I’m heading into this holiday with patiences and gratitude — Happy Thanksgiving!

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Latest Obsessions 11.19

November has finally been a month that B and I have been able to breathe.  Looking back at the last three months, we were literally booked everything single weekend from August through October — yikes! So needless to say, November has been a breath of fresh air with a little extra time to do more things we love, sleeping in and distressing from October.
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By finally being able to take a minute, I’ve been able to check off a few things on my to-do list (finally), make special memories and prepping for the fast approaching holiday season! These have been my latest obsessions this month.

Bathroom Organization. I’ve been trying to get my bathroom drawer stocked and organized since the beginning of October — and that’s just about how things have been going over here lately. BUT! It’s finally finished, and it’s perfect and beautiful and has a high-end feel for a small price of only $12. I wanted to make sure this bathroom was stocked for us and guests since our other main bathroom is two floors up!

Celebrating Two Years. Our anniversary was this past Monday, so B and I did a bit of celebrating and created new memories this year since we were actually home and not in sunny, Palm Springs. We went out Saturday to one of our favorite spots for dinner and drinks, then popped a bottle of bubbly when we got home. Monday we exchanged gifts – B really knocked it out of the park by creating roses out of cotton rounds (picture above), something he thought of all on his own.  He also had the vows he wrote me, but never shared since we had a Catholic ceremony, on cotton paper! These were the first time I read them and they were funny, sweet and brought me back to two years ago. We also went out to brunch and had a nice dinner at home that night!

Holiday Ready. …Well almost! I am trying to get there.  I’ve gotten a little jump start on some shopping and just started buying stuff, as I’m normally a December shopper. These next few weeks will be busy with Thanksgiving and then immediately jumping into December and hosting our annual holiday party.  So I’m getting my lists ready with ALL the things — from making a dairy free pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving to picking a day to get our Christmas tree! I’m excited for the holidays, but want them to go slow.

What’ve you been obsessing over lately? Are you stressing over the holidays or easing into them like me?

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Celebrating Two Years

It’s our two year anniversary! Part of me can’t believe it and part of me can — and part of me would love to relive that night all over again, in it’s pure magic, fun and perfectness. I loved our wedding, and I would plan another one (minus spending all that money again) in a heart beat.
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TBH. As much as the night was perfect there were a few moments that weren’t completely perfect, even though all the perfect moments out weighted those.  Like the fact that it was basically a tsunami from just before I left the house to head to the church to the end of the night when the party was shutting down. Which meant, our guests and ourselves were transporting two and from the church to the venue in a rush with strategic planning. But they say rain on your wedding day is good luck, right?

Another favorite memory of our wedding is the last two songs of the night.  It was big planning the last two songs with the DJ and he made an awesome choice of combining a song that B had recommended as a must play, Five More Hours by Chris Brown with Justin Timberlake’s Can’t Stop the Feeling just afterwards (which you can see a snip of it below.) But I’ll never forget when Five More Hours came out and I rushed to find B so we could dance to this amazing song — that now brings tears to my eyes with happiness whenever it comes on.

These last two years with B have been about living our life and doing more of the things we love together, house projects, traveling, spending time with friends and family, working on our physical fitness and creating new memories together.  They’ve been about making plans, growing together, learning from one another, laughing and strengthening our team.  Now it’s time for some brunch, to celebrate!

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Wedding photo: Timothy-Logan Photography

Two Year Wedding Anniversary Gift Guide

November is a special month — because it’s the month B and I finally tied the knot!  As you may or may not know there are “traditional” anniversary gifts for each year with a specific theme.  There is a list that has the traditional gifts paired with modern twists, and personally I like to try and stick to the traditional.  Last year I gifted B with papers sharing that I was finally going to change my last name (yes, after almost a year!).  So if you’re like me and on the hunt for something original, unique and spoiling your loved one, here are some Cotton-themed 2nd anniversary gift ideas with shop-able links!

The meaning for Cotton for an anniversary gift is “Cotton’s woven threads symbolize how you become more interconnected as time goes on and learn to be more flexible.”

Handmade Cotton Bud Ornament from Etsy. Etsy was the first spot I went to for inspiration, especially looking for something a little more unique and personalized.  One of the first things that caught my eye was this ornament — not only is it on theme, it’s also something that could easily be DIYed and even more customized as a anniversary keepsake. But for $14 with customization, you can’t beat it and I love ornaments to capture moments throughout our lives.
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Custom Embroidered Socks. This was another Etsy find that gives endless options to customize and make special for your man!  With so many different patterns and the ability to provide your own embroidered text with your wedding date, inside joke, wedding hashtag, or monogram — you really can’t go wrong with this.

His & Her Robes. Honestly, this was my first thought when I saw the second anniversary traditional gift was cotton. I jumped on Pottery Barn to see what was available — and even customizable. I liked the Vincent’s Men Robe, but it couldn’t be customized in the size I would need to get for B. I also loved this Bambo Waffle Robe from Williams Sonoma which also has monogram and different length options plus its on sale – not to mention there is just something about the waffle pattern that is so luxurious! Lastly I was searching on Land’s End for his and hers which had some other more holiday specific robes that would be perfect for Christmas pajamas!
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China is the modern gift theme which could be anything from a trip to China — a nice China dish to add for service — or even ordering Chinese food for a fun date-night in. The color is red, could be a ruby ring (hint-hint guys for the ladies) red garnet is also an option since garnet is the gemstone for two-years.

Have you already celebrated two years — do you stick to the anniversary gift themes? Or not?

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Latest Obsessions 10.19

If you just saw my October Weekend Roundup — you know that this month has been nonstop for us.  That post didn’t include the late nights working, family drama, bouts of stress/anxiety and early morning workouts — but don’t worry I’ll be opening up on some of the not so fabulous things soon, because I’m all about sharing the trials and tribulations of this bee life.  So all in all, October has been a mixed bag when it comes to obsessions, but a lot of them have been a bit more on the personal side this month.
LatestObsessions1019-beelifeblogSo with all the things happening, some amazing and some stressful, I’ve tried to focus on the positive, with a side of pumpkins and a bit of love.

My Fitness Routine. I have been feeling it, I’ve jumped in hot this October and am feeling great. In turn, I’ve also started to focus and streamline my food more.  I’ve been packing lunches consistently, having a light breakfast and not over indulging too much.  It has felt good to be back into a routine, and getting my butt out of bed, getting up on the weekends and even putting in extra work to make sure I’m getting those workouts in each week.

Basic Bee in the Fall. Yup, guilty! I’ve been loving up on all things fall, from all of our October fun, to rocking the booties, ponchos, and buying all the pumpkins and mums for our front porch. The leaves have also changed instantly overnight, so the runs and drives have been serving.  Even loving on the fall eats and drinks with pumpkin latte’s from our favorite local spot.

Two Years. With October coming to an end, I can’t help but look forward to November and all the love that this month brings. B and I will be celebrating our second wedding anniversary and I can’t help but feel all the feels — while also trying to plan a few surprises for B in the meantime to celebrate!

What things have you been focusing on this month?

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